Tag Archives: Battlebots 2019

Witch Doctor is my pick for the 2019 Battlebots Champion (Sweet Sixteen Bracket)

BattleBots-2019-Bracket.jpg

Man, this was a rough bracket to fill.

With so many good robots participating this year I struggled picking which bot would advance and which would go home.  Nonetheless, I am (mostly) confident that Witch Doctor, if not Tombstone, would be the winner of this year’s Battlebots.  Let’s take a quick look at my reasonings.

Sweet Sixteen
Biteforce vs. Uppercut- Biteforce by KO in less than 2 minutes
Biteforce has been a near unstoppable force this season while the rookie Uppercut has struggled to deliver satisfying KOs.  I think Biteforce will end Uppercut in less than two minutes and move on unscathed.

Black Dragon vs. Lockjaw- Black Dragon by UD
This was a tough call for me as these two bots have shown sturdiness and ability to deliver strong hits.  But who to choose?  Rookie team from Brazil or the veteran driver?  Based on Black Dragon’s last four matches, I’m giving it to Black Dragon for a mild upset.  I think both bots will be aggressive and have nice control but BD will win by Unanimous Decision by the Judges.

Tombstone vs. Quantum- Tombstone by KO, 1:20
Now, I can see Quantum winning like it did against Valkyrie by tanking hits and pushing its foe around the arena until the bell rings.  But Tombstone…is no Valkyrie!  That weapon is crazy dangerous and I think no amount of bite force will save Quantum.  I bet Quantum’s jaw will even go crooked like a sad croc when its done from this match.

Huge vs Whiplash- Huge by UD
Huge has improved so much since last season to the point that if you’re not a horizontal spinner than you’re in for a bad time.  If it wasn’t for the Hypershock vs Huge match I would’ve given it to Whiplash but now…I have to give it to my man, HUGE!  Whiplash will have difficultly controlling the match while Huge will just wail at it until its bruised, bruised, bruised.

Witch Doctor vs. Blacksmith- Witch Doctor by UD
Blacksmith’s luck may have turned in the nick of time by the end of the season but I’m afraid his luck will run out against the 4-0 Witch Doctor.  The hammer hasn’t been shown to be too effective and it would be hard to accurately pound the very agile Witch Doctor.  I think Witch Doctor won’t be able to KO Blacksmith but it will still win the match easily.

Son of Whyachi vs. Sawblaze- SoW by KO, less than a minute
Yes, I know, I know, SoW can be flipped and KO easily but I honestly think it can damage Sawblaze to the point of destruction before it could have a chance to flip it.  That saw is just begging to be torn and bludgeoned off.

Hydra vs. Minotaur- Hydra by SD
This will probably be the closest match for the Sweet Sixteen.  Minotaur is basically unflippable and Hydra would have to win by flipping Minotaur out of the arena, which is entirely possible, or by simply dominating the match by flips after flips.  Minotaur can easily win though by aggressive and chipping away from all sides.  However, I honestly can’t see Minotaur do too much damage due to Hydra’s low design and smooth armor.  I think Hydra will win if by Split Decision if it can’t flip Minotaur out.

Death Roll vs. Yeti- Death Roll by SD
This was also a very hard match to decide and if it was any other year and even six episodes ago I would have easily picked Yeti…but now…?  I don’t know…I feel like Death Roll has been such a chaotic force this year that I think it will be this bracket’s Dark Horse.  Yeti on the other hand has been…alright…not great but good.  I think Death Roll will do some crazy upset that will throw everyone for a loop by damaging Yeti until it starts smoking by the end of this match.  Weirder things have happened this season.

 

Elite Eight
Bite Force vs. Black Dragon- Black Dragon by KO in 2:35
That’s right!  I’m calling it here!  Bite Force will lose to Black Dragon in a surprise upset!  The desperado team will continue their wins by a long but strong match against the champion.  There will be many clashes and collisions and both bots will be heavily damaged but I think Black Dragon will throw us for a loop and flip Bite Force onto its back and win with a KO.

Huge vs. Tombstone- Tombstone by KO, less than a minute
There are two bots in this bracket that can defeat Huge, Tombstone and SoW.  If Huge doesn’t fight them he will win.  But unfortunately, Huge will have to fight Tombstone and he will lose to that ferocious horizontal spinner.  Perhaps Huge will have a different set of wheels than what we’re used to but I think it will be fruitless against the former champ.

Witch Doctor vs SoW- Witch Doctor by KO in about one minute
Witch Doctor and Death Roll are this season’s most improved bots.  I think Witch Doctor will continue her reign by defeating another improved bot, Son of Whyachi.  Witch Doctor’s record can be spotty, yes, but I think this will be one of those matches that will be done in less that five hits.  One solid hit by Witch Doctor’s vertical spinner will send SoW up…and onto its back.

Hydra vs Death Roll- Hydra by KO in 1:40
However, Death Roll’s luck will end here.  With two 4-0 bots fighting each other someone has to bow down and it will be Death Roll.  I think Hydra is just too experienced and intense for Death Roll to handle.  Death Roll will have a hard time damaging Hydra and a few good flips from Hydra I think will wreck Death Roll.

Final Four and Championship
Black Dragon vs. Tombstone- Tombstone by KO in about a minute
Black Dragon will be the talk of the town as the rookie who made it to the semi-finals.  However, it will fight Tombstone and, unfortunately, the Duck’s good luck powers will run dry.  Tombstone will wallop and destroy Black Dragon with a quick KO.

Hydra vs. Witch Doctor-Witch Doctor by JD
I think some of you might say I’m inconsistent here with Hydra beating Death Roll and Minotaur but lose to Witch Doctor.  You are…correct!  But!  Witch Doctor has been really good this season!  Reddit likes to shit on Witch Doctor (which was very much undeserved even before this season) but it’s a good bot on a good team!  I think Witch Doctor is sturdy and strong.  I think it has a good shot of taking down Hydra by chipping away, avoiding the flipper, and controlling the match.

Witch Doctor vs Tombstone- Witch Doctor by KO, in about a minute

I rest my case.

 

And as a bonus, here is Mary’s bracket!

BattleBots-2019-Bracket Mary

Battlebots 2019 should be a 24-Seeded Tournament

After the Battlebots’ 2019 season Desperado Tournament, there was a constant discussion between the hosts, Kenny and Chris, about whether a 2-2 bot could make it post-season.  The problem is, there are an incredible amount of bots that have scored this 2-2 record.  These bots have seen a variety of opponents and as such, no 2-2 bot has the same path.  So when the most recent episode, episode 13, ended the Battlebots’ main season, many people are wondering…who’s in and who’s out?

Unfortunately, we are not given the whole picture as there are a lot of bots who’s battles haven’t been televised.  So we have to work with what we know.  And the crazy thing is…we already have a rather clear idea which bots would be in a 16-seeded tournament.

First, Black Dragon is the automatic in as it won the Desperado Tournament.  Also, at the time of this writing, there are four bots with a 4-0 standing (Deathroll, Hydra, Biteforce, and Witch Doctor).  There are also 11 bots that have a 3-1 standing (Lockjaw, Sawblaze, Tombstone, Huge, Uppercut, Rail Gun Max, Skorpios, Son of Whyachi, Hypershock, Whiplash, and Yeti).  Automatically, we have 16 bots that we could easily pick and add to the tournament.  There might be some backlash but it wouldn’t be very controversial.

Deathroll of Team Deathroll

This poses a problem because there are sooooooo many good robots that have a 50% win record that are majorly missing out.  I’m talking Minotaur, Duck!, Cobalt, and Copperhead.  We’re missing some interesting bots that could upset the tournament.  Without these 2-2 bots, we’re losing some potential dark horses.  Something should be done that includes these prominent robots that got unlucky breaks.

It’s not surprising that we see a deluge of 3-1 bots for this season.  This season has the largest selection of robots yet for the competition clocking in to 68 robots (2017 had 55 robots, 2016 had 44, and 2015 had 28).  The increase of just 13 robots made the field incredibly competitive to the point that if you were not 3-1, you would be hard press to make it post-season unless you had some incredible wins.  Because of which, Battlebots should expand the 16-seed bracket into a 24-seeded tournament to include those incredible 2-2 robots.

A 24-seeded bracket actually works out really well when you do the math.  The first round would have 8 battles with 16 robots fighting each other.  Due to the 2-hour long episodes, you can easily squeeze these 8 battles in.  This also gives the top eight robots a free pass so they can sit back and relax while their opponents kick the crap out of each other.  There’s also about 17 robots that have a win record near or at 50% (Desperado robots like War Hawk have extra battles under their belt).  Eliminating those robots down to eight would be fun and exciting similar to the last-chance rumbles from last season.

So the next question should be.  Who deserves the top eight seeds, who will get in automatically for the middle eight seeds, and who should fight for the last eight seeds?  This is difficult to answer because, again, we don’t have answers to all the fights that happened this season.  But given what we have seen so far, we can have a pretty good idea where everyone would fall on this hypothetical 24-seeded bracket.

Hydra of Team Whyachi

The Top Eight

Obviously, the 4-0 bots are here; Deathroll, Biteforce, Hydra, and Witch Doctor.  Some fans argue that Deathroll doesn’t deserve a top four spot which, sure, the robots it defeated weren’t top tier but three of those matches were by KO which is impressive.  Even so, Deathroll more than qualifies for a top eight spot.  Hydra and Biteforce are interesting as who deserves the number 1 spot?  If we include Biteforce’s history then it should get the #1 spot.  However, in this season, Hydra has four KOs as opposed to Biteforce’s two!  True, Hydra fought more mid-tier robots but still, I’d have to give it to Hydra for #1.

The trickier question are the 3-1s.  Who to choose? Son of Whyachi and Hypershock should be an easy pick.  All three of their wins were by KOs and their only loss was by an equally good robot.  I would also pick Whiplash as a top eight bot due to being the only bot that KO’d SoW with its one loss to Witchdoctor, a 4-0 bot. Finally, Black Dragon, the Desperado winner, should be on here as the eight seed.  It has a 4-1 record which is pretty good.  One of those wins is against Minotaur who was back in his prime!  It also has three KOs which is fantastic.

Black Dragon of Team Uai!rrior

The Middle Eight

Most of the rest of the 3-1 bots will find their spots here.  Tombstone would probably be a 9 seed.  Despite its lackluster fight with Gruff and the surprise upset by Rotator, it easily KO’d Lockjaw and Sawblaze.  Unlike Bronco and Minotaur, this veteran is still packing punches!  The rest of the 3-1 bots, Lockjaw, Sawblaze, Huge, Uppercut, Rail Gun Max, Skorpios, and Yeti should be able to squeeze in.  However, if I were to pick one bot here that doesn’t deserve the middle eight it would probably be Sawblaze as none of its wins were by KO’s.

Below is a list of my top 16 bots in a hypothetical bracket.

1. Hydra
2. Biteforce
3. Witch Doctor
4. Deathroll
5. Hypershock
6. SoW
7. Whiplash
8. Black Dragon
9. Tombstone
10. Yeti
11. Skorpios
12. Lockjaw
13. Huge
14. Uppercut
15. Railgun Max
16. Sawblaze

Railgun Max of Team Atom

The Lower Eight (and what matches could be fought to determine this)

Okay, this is where the real fun begins!  Whereas the top 16 bots are basically shoe ins.  The lower eight is debatable on bot placement.  In order to determine who would be in the 17 to 24 seeds we’ll need to have some qualifying rounds and rumbles!

However, if there’s one bot we should include in the bracket it’s Minotaur, Minotaur started off reeeeeeeally rough this season but got better and better until he was back to his old self.  I think he deserves to be in the tournament after the hell he went through.

Okay, what about the rest?  Who to choose?  Ribbot, Rotator, Duck!, War Hawk, Cobalt, End Game, and Mammoth are robots who have KOs under their belt and fought some incredible matches.  Most of them lost to the robots listed above so their certainly not pitiful losses.  You even have the likes of Rotator upsetting Tombstone which was soooooooo goooooood.  Further down the tier, I think Valkyrie, Deep Six, Copperhead, Shatter, Wan Hoo, Blood Sport, Quantum, Blacksmith, and Free Shipping, should be given chances as well.  This gives us 16 robots to narrow down to 7.  Although we can pare down our list by randomly drawing bots to fight each other, there are a few matches I would like to see happen.

Mammoth vs Deep Six: A looooot of people want these giants to fight.  Having these two tangle would be a very satisfying match to watch.  With practically 95% of the competition sharing the same box-like design with a spinning weapon, it’s nice to see some variety and these guys deliver it!  Have them fight to determine who is the king of height!

Shatter vs Quantum: What happens when we have a bot whose gimmick is biting through armor fights a robot whose gimmick is peeling armor??  This match has the potential to be entertaining although both bots have had issues this season implementing their unique weapons.  This battle could be a shot at redemption for them.

Warhawk vs End Game vs Ribbot: Similar to last season’s three-way rumble, this battle would pit three vertical-spinning robots that have done well, but not great, this season.  We already have a lot of vertical spinners on the field so this battle could eliminate two of those robots.  These three robots have proven they can deliver KOs…they just weren’t able to consistently do that.  Of the three, I would put money on the kooky Ribbot to win.  Go Ribbot!

Quantum of Team Robo Challenge

It sounds like this next episode will mix things up according to the episode synopsis.  Good!  I was hoping they would pull the rug from us.  I would be surprised if they went this 24-seeded route but these past few seasons of Battlebots have given struggling robots a second chance which is great to see.  Here’s hoping for Duck! to win the tournament!

Battlebots 2019 Midseason Review

We’re halfway through the 2019 Battlebots season and man what a trip!   We ended on a high note with the crazy Desperado Tournament with Black Dragon winning against Minotaur in a Brazilian Battle for the ages!  With that said, let’s take a look at this season so far before it resumes tonight.

First, the negative.  This season has been wonderful so far but it’s bogged down by some flaws that I feel should be addressed. The biggest complaint I’m seeing, and I agree with, is the Battlebox’s floor. The infamous gash on the arena floor is so prominent that robots racing at top speed can be stopped dead in their tracks by its protrusion. It can even temporarily wedge a robot onto the ground and even stop it completely like Cobalt who was straight up destroying Duck! before dying to the arena floor. Drivers now have to plan for that dent and wedges are suddenly at a disadvantage.

On the positive side, the move to two hour episodes is very welcome and a smart choice. We now watch a steady stream of battles that give us a whole variety of robots fighting each other. We also saw a full Desperado Tournament episode which was great! They cut some of the Desperado battles from airtime last year so I’m glad they have the whole package this year (and a bonus battle with Deep Six which FINALLY made an appearance after nine episodes).

This additional air time also gives us a lot of clips and interviews on the Builders’ Floor which I always appreciate. Jenny Taft, the interviewer on the Floor, is a great conversationalist and does a good job asking questions and gleaming answers from the builders. These segments also show the work the builders go through to get their robot up and running for the next fight as well as their strategies.  One thing I would like to see more of is builders’ reactions to fights since that scene when Mammoth YEETED Axe Backwards out of the arena was hilarious! I still feel they can cut down on the pre-battle filler where we have to wait for the teams to get in place…press the button…wait some more…and finally start the battle. You could pare a lot of those segments down and squeeze in an extra battle that may not be as stellar as the other fights but still worth the watch.

The stars, the robots of course, this year have been most wonderful giving us a lot of thrilling battles that get my heart racing. While a lot of the new robots are having trouble making an impact (besides Black Dragon, of course), we do see middle-tier robots make a surprise shake up in the arena and suddenly become the buzz of the internet like Rotator and Deathroll. It is equally surprising to see high tier robots like Minotaur struggle to deliver KOs and wins that we come to expect. This gives the show a pulsing excitement that’s satisfying to watch and can keep us guessing what happens next.

We also had some great battles so I’m going to list my top four favorite 2019 battles so far and I’ll update it to a top 10 by the end of the season.

Minotaur vs. Lucky

By itself the match isn’t too special but with the story of Minotaur’s downfall this season there was A LOT hanging in the balance. A Minotaur loss would’ve spelled the end for its 2019 season career. Instead, we saw a return to form for Minotaur as it was aggressive and hit hard. I was still worried though as the smoke coming from Minotaur had me on edge as that’s never a good sign. But Minotaur prevailed and was able to beat Lucky down until it couldn’t move any more. The best match moment was when Lucky flipped itself over immediately preceding Minotaur delivering the knock out blow. Minotaur had won and although he lost the Desperado Tournament, he was back.

Rotator vs Tombstone

The 2019 season has so far, unfortunately, given us fine, but not stellar, Main Event matches as they are usually one sided and end quickly. I thought this match would be the same and boy was I wrong! Lasting 2:58 long by a KO, Rotator defeats Tombstone in a blaze of glory! Every time those bots clashed, shivers would ripple through my body! I could only imagine how much it would hurt if I got hit by one of them.

Anyway, Rotator’s plow-shape design was the surprising key that unlocked Tombstone’s defeat. Tombstone has been defeated before, sure, but not like this! The consistent hit after hit after hit was incredible, especially since Rotator’s blade was basically blown off and Tombstone could drive totally fine excluding weapon malfunctions and all. The thing that just blows me away was how long Tombstone could drive while on fire! Imagine if Rotator suddenly died and Tombstone kept going while on fire! I could honestly see that happen considering Tombstone almost went the full three minutes.

This battle shows Battlebots at its greatest. Don’t take everything for granted because the underdog might just topple a giant.

 mammoth_bbseason4_2019

Mammoth vs. Axe Backwards

Ever since I saw Mammoth on the Battlebots’ website I hoped and prayed that we would see this gorgeous creature launch a small robot out of the arena. And although it was more of a toss than a yeet, we got what we wanted! God, those precious moments when Axe Backwards was on the edge of the arena and barely on the screws while Mammoth was trying to push it off was so tense! And when it finally tossed Axe Backwards over I couldn’t help but cheer and holler!! Seeing this big clunky creature stumble around the arena and go at Axe Backwards was a thing of beauty.

What also makes this battle fantastic was the unique design of both robots. A typical Battlebot has a square design, with a vertical spinner, and four rubber wheels. These two robots threw that design out the window and did their own thing! Axe Backwards with its barrel-shaped design and Mammoth with its weird, Knex-like design of pipes and gears. Variety is the spice of life and this battle was most tasty.

deathroll2_bbseason4_2019

Deathroll vs End Game

Before this season, Deathroll was your average, middle-of-the-road robot. It was okay. Cool theme and design, but a pretty average track record. But this season has been a blessing for this robot and nowhere did we see this better than when we saw it fight End Game.

The New Zealand robot End Game was the favorite for this battle due to its past record of aggression and KOs. So imagine our surprise when Deathroll defeated it in a KO! But Deathroll winning is only half what makes this battle so entertaining. The two clashed and it was beautiful. So many delicious hits and sparks with both bots flying. Deathroll rolling around in the arena was the funniest thing this season has shown us so far! What’s funnier is that End Game was flipped over once and that was it!! It couldn’t do anything else than sit there! And when parts of the ceiling came crashing down onto the arena due to spray carnage was extra crazy! God that was great, I’m hoping Deathroll is the dark horse for this season because that would be fantastic.

son-of-whyachi-hero-s2018-1140x601 

Son of Whyachi vs Whiplash

The other Main Event match that I really enjoyed was the SOW vs Whiplash battle. I love the angle the battle had; two robots representing the next generation of Battlebot competitors, sons of former builders, go head to head in a terrific clash! SOW’s rise from an okay robot to a powerhouse against relatively new but already great Whiplash made a great matchup. I was honestly torn who I should root for which made this battle extra heart-wrenching.

But man, can Whiplash take a hit! Bits and pieces of it flying over the arena made it a wounded animal desperately trying to stay alive. For a few moments, I thought Whiplash had it because it pinned SOW against the wall and almost flipped it over. But when SOW escaped I thought, man, that was it, they lost! They can’t win! But Whiplash came back and was able to cleanly flip over SOW! That was sooooo good. This was definitely worth of being a Main Event. Well done.

 

That’s all I have for now, looking forward to the rest of the season!